HOW TO BECOME A REAL ESTATE PHOTOGRAPHER IN 2019
Would like to become a real estate photographer and earn money taking such pictures? Then study our detailed guide on how to master your skills, promote your services and achieve success in this industry.
Getting into real estate photography isn’t a simple thing to do, but this field is surely a profitable one in the US. You can treat it as an additional income source or as a full-time occupation.
Every real estate photographer has to deal not only with photographing itself, but also with preparing for the photo session, finding beneficial angles, taking care of lighting setup, communicating with clients, and doing all possible to satisfy them.
So, pay attention to this comprehensive guide, as it can be a wonderful jumping-off point for your professional development.
Becoming A Real Estate Photographer in 8 Steps
Real estate photography is also referred to as property (interior/hotel/restaurant) photography, implying a picture of a building or its inner parts, that shows the look of the subject in an appealing way by using different lighting patterns and appropriate camera settings.
This genre is in high demand, because realtors and advertising industry need quality images of property on a regular basis. If you are interested in all nuanced of real estate photography, get to read the Complete Guide on How to Get Into Real Estate Photography
1. Learn How Much Photographers Make in Your Region
The average real estate photography salary in 2019 varies from $90 to $300. If you are just learning how to become a real estate photographer, you may charge $80 per listing.
Typically, for such money, a photographer takes no more than 25 photos inside the house of 3000 sq. ft.
An acceptable turnaround time for 25 shots is 1 day. During this time, a photographer has to select the best images and edit them. Of course, the delivery time is in direct relation to the number of pictures, which, as a result, affects the final cost. In other words, more photos mean longer turnaround and higher fees.
Additional real estate photography services:
- Aerial photography (starting with $200 per hour to $5,000 per photoshoot)
- Video ($1000 and higher)
- Architectural 3D Rendering (»$500)
2. Equipment You Need
Becoming a real estate photographer, one of the first things you need to take care of is getting proper equipment. Fortunately, this genre doesn’t require something high-priced or unconventional.
You just need to find reliable gear that will enable you to fully control the frame while taking images of static objects (buildings). It means, you can do without cameras with speedy AF or high frame rates. Nikon Coolpix B700 is a good option for real estate photography.
Shooters like it for 60x manual and 120x digital zoom, which is absolutely helpful when you need to show tiniest details in wide-angle shots.
Those learning photography, often rush to buy different equipment later realizing that they use only half of it. In fact, your first helper in the process of taking property images is a sturdy tripod. Zomei Z888C Carbon Fiber is a decent option, since you can use it in hot and wet conditions without risking of damaging it.
The cushioning and camera double fixation ensure your gear is safely stabilized. Another piece of equipment is a wide-angle lens.
No need to purchase a fast-aperture lens, as your camera will be placed on a tripod most of the time, so regular wide-angle lenses will do.
One more item that makes the shooting process efficient and trouble-free is a wireless flash. It is helpful if the house/room is too dark and the images contain too many shadows.
If you can’t afford to buy this equipment, in most situations you can just use softboxes, light stands and radio triggers to add light to the place.
3. Build Your Portfolio
Figuring out how to start a real estate photography business, at some point, you’ll face the necessity of creating a professional portfolio. But how to do it if you are pressed for time and money?
You can address your friends and local entrepreneurs and take images of their houses, shops, cafes, etc.
There is probably a real estate agency nearby, so dare to offer your services to them. Say that you are ready to organize 1 photoshoot for free, but in case, they use your pictures, they have to pay you at least something. Be persistent and confident in what you offer.
It is a nice idea to photograph one and the same building at different time of a day and night. This way, you will demonstrate that you are a qualified photographer, knowing how to make a subject look appealing in different conditions.
Working inside a house, be imaginative and create interesting compositions using available items – flower pots, arm-chairs, newspapers, pictures, etc. Make use of more real estate photography tips while taking interior photos.
4. Use Real Estate Photo Editing Services
Since a real estate photography market is very competitive with more and more people interested in becoming a real estate photographer, you need to devote your time to those things that will result in professional development and honing your shooting skills.
That’s why, find a trustworthy photo editing company and outsource photo post-production work instead of tweaking each photo on your own.
5. Take Classes
There are hundreds of interesting lectures, tutorials, videos, courses, workshops and events that are created to help anybody, who dreams of getting into real estate photography. It is possible to find both paid and free options.
Besides, if there is any person, whose achievements inspire you, monitor his/her activities and perfect your skills any free minute.
6. Build a Professional Website
While building a website, mind its functionality and design. Users like when they can easily find the necessary info, see high-quality, sharp images and don’t get distracted by pop-up ads.
Design Makes Much Traffic
To have many visitors, you don’t necessarily need to spend money on web designers’ services. Take advantage of Photoshelter, PhotoFolio and other similar sites that offer necessary features for free.
You need to check whether the content of your website finds a ready market and “shape” it in accordance with the demand.
Offering discounts and free offers, you can greatly extend your e-mails base, thus get new clients.
If your images contain watermarks, your name will become familiar to many people and they will easily find your site in Google search.
If you have a stable source of income, and real estate photography is an additional occupation, pay attention to one of these sites for freelancers.
Understandable menu enables users to find the necessary section, namely, real estate photography, in a matter of seconds.
To find a real estate photography job here, type the request in the search menu or choose the corresponding section (Video & Animation or Graphic & Design). If you have some problems, use the guide.
This intuitive and effective platform is very popular among web developers and designers.
If you lack money, but have lots of creative projects to share with other people, go to this site and present your portfolio.
This site is used by people, who have problems with their projects and look for freelancers capable of helping them.
7. Use Social Media to Promote Your Real Estate Photography
Enjoy the influential power of social media and use different social networks to your advantage. Mind that posts with photos on FB get a 95,8% interaction rate.
Some of the best sites for photographers now are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Behance, as well as portfolio platforms like Freelancer.
8. Make a Blog with Tips
Create an active blog about real estate photography that has regular updates. To make it more interesting, add videos and catchy medial content.
You can find many websites (both paid, e.g. Squarespace and free) to bring this idea to life. Remember to fill your blog with up-to-date info. Use the tags with keywords to stimulate more traffic.
Divide your blog into several sections. This is a sample variant:
- Your fresh projects.
- Personal experience of becoming a real estate photographer.
- Reasons to opt for real estate photography: tips on how to organize the shooting + info about successful property agencies.
- Promotions: discounts, seasonal bonuses, etc.
- Behind the scene shots.